The Shiba Inu Beagle Mix is a combination of two great dogs. Often referred to as Shi-Beagles, these dogs can feature the best traits of both breeds. Beagle owners love their dogs for their gentleness and friendly disposition. Shibu Inu owners appreciate the loyalty and independence of their animals. These combined traits provide Shi-Beagle owners with the best of both worlds.
The exact origin of this mix of these dogs isn’t known, but it is likely the dog was first bred in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Both breeds have the hunter’s instincts, need a moderate amount of exercise, and make excellent watchdogs and companions. Knowing what food your Shiba Inu Beagle needs and how much, as well as understanding health risks, temperament,and exercise needs helps owners take care of their dogs and keep them safe and healthy.
If you’re looking for a loyal, affectionate dog that still has a playful side, the Shiba Inu Beagle mix may be the right dog for you. Read this guide for advice on the best way to care for your Shiba Inu Beagle.
Physical Characteristics (Size and Physical Look)
Beagles and Shiba Inus look quite different from each other. The Shiba Inu has pointy ears while Beagles have floppy ones. Beagles have shorter legs than Shibas do. The mix of these two breeds results in a dog that may have either of these characteristics with ears that are either held erect or that are somewhat droopy. The eyes tend to be brown or hazel with a medium-length muzzle and black nose. Eyes can also be triangular in shape or rounded.
Shi-Beagles weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and stand between 13 and 17 inches tall. The Shi-Beagle coat can also be short and dense or short and fine. The Shiba Inu Beagle mix can have a coloring that is black and tan or tri-coloring that could include white, cream, black or tan. Some of these dogs may even have red fur with black tips. The feet are either thick and round like a beagle’s feet, or compact like the Shiba Inu paws. It really depends on the individual dog, which is what makes this mixed breed so unique and prized by their owners.
Both Shiba Inus and Beagles have a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years so you can expect a Shi-Beagle to have a life expectancy of between 12 and 14 years. Beagles have a tendency to put on excess weight so a Shi-Beagle’s feeding should be monitored. They also should be exercised regularly so they do not become obese, which can reduce their life span. There are other factors that can affect the lifespan of these dogs. More on these health concerns later.
How much grooming a Shi-Beagle needs is usually determined by which dominant gene, beagle or Shiba Inu, comes through. Shibas are moderate shedders and have longer hair and beagles shed quite a bit. The coat of the Shi-Beagle is not hypoallergenic. Even so, it will likely require two to three brushings per week. Baths should be given to these dogs when they need it, but otherwise, not on a regular schedule as frequents baths can dry the skin and deplete natural oils that help make the fur water-repellent.
The ears should be checked every week and cleaned if necessary. Use an approved ear wash for canines and a cotton ball. Never use a cotton swab to clean a dog’s ears. Trim nails as necessary and brush the dog’s teeth every day or at a minimum of three times per week.
The temperament of a Shi-Beagle hybrid also depends on the traits passed down from their parents. They are generally very affectionate dogs, but can also be independent and aloof. Socializing your dog at an early age will ensure they get along well with other dogs and humans.
Shi-Beagles have strong instincts as hunters so they won’t be able to resist taking off after a squirrel or a rabbit. A strong leash is recommended for walking. Both Beagles and Shiba Inus are prolific barkers. They are also both very independent breeds so they can be a challenge to train. The earlier you start the better.
Shi-Beagles are very loyal animals and will form a strong bond with their human owner. That said, they can also be left alone for longer periods of time than other breeds without acting out in destructive ways. The size of the breed makes them a good choice for people who live in apartments or condos, but of course, they still need plenty of outdoor exercise to stay happy and healthy.
Shi-Beagles have a lot of energy and stamina. They appreciate long walks to help them use up that energy and keep them from becoming bored. A bored dog can develop destructive habits.
The Shiba Inu Beagle mix requires between one and two hours of exercise per day. Taking the dog on long walks or letting them run in a dog park are great ways for them to get this exercise.
Because of their high prey drive and tendency to wander, it is not advised to let them run off-leash unless it is in a well-contained, fenced area. The Shiba Inu Beagle mix would appreciate a fenced-in backyard with room to frolic, but this is still no substitute for daily walks. In areas of extreme cold, a warm dog coat should be worn to keep the dog warm while walking.
Beagles and Shiba Inus are prone to developing eye problems such as cataracts, retinal atrophy, and glaucoma, so the mix breed is at risk for these as well. Problems they may inherit from the Beagle parent could include ear infections and epilepsy. Shi Inus could pass on hip issues to their mixed offspring as well.
If overfed and without the proper amount of daily exercise, Shi-Beagles can quickly become obese with can cause additional health concerns.
Beagles may experience epilepsy and hypothyroidism which is an issue affecting the thyroid gland. Their floppy ears exposes them to increased airflow which can lead to ear infections. The Shi-Beagle may not experience this depending on the traits that are passed down from its parents.
Some major health concerns for this breed include Pulmonic Stenosis and Hip Dysplasia. Other possible health concerns include:
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Demodicosis (Mange)
- Wobbler’s Syndrome (a neurological disease affecting the spine)
- Microphthalmia (eye abnormality)
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Mitral Valve Dysplasia (congenital malformation of the mitral heart valve)
Some tests that your vet may perform could include:
- Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)
- X-ray, CT scan, MRIs
- Ear Tests and Myringotomy
- Tests Blood Sugar and Thyroid Tests
- Full Chemistry Panel Tests and Blood Count
- Eye Exams
- X-rays of various parts of the skeletal system
- Various Blood Tests Echocardiography
Bring your Shi-Beagle mix in to see the vet regularly so they can stay on top of any emerging health concerns.
Feeding (What to Eat, When to Eat, How Much to Eat）
Every dog is different so each animal will have different dietary needs. Beagles are prone to overeating which can lead to obesity, so this should be kept in mind for Shi-Beagles as well. A quality dog food that contains 30 percent protein is a good start.
Puppies can be fed three times a day which can then be cut to two feedings at about four months of age. It’s best to follow the recommended serving sizes printed on the dog food label, but for a puppy, this is typically about ⅓ cup. For adults, this is about one cup at each feeding. Again, this will depend on your dog’s energy level. As a general rule, you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs, but not see them.
Exercise should be a part of their daily routine and this will help keep the dog’s weight in check, but weight is something to be mindful of with this particular breed.
Fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are also recommended to keep bones and joints healthy.
There are other things to keep in mind when feeding your Shi-Beagles store-bought dog feed. Make sure that whatever brand or flavor you choose offers complete and balanced nutrition. You can check the label for an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy. You also want to be sure the dog food comes from a high-quality source of poultry, meat, or fish source and low to moderate fat content. Animal-based foods will be easier for your Shiba Inu Beagle mix to digest. Plant-based foods are harder for dogs to digest so a lower carb content is advisable.
One other thing to be mindful of is allergies. The beagle part of this mix may be prone to more allergies than other breeds so check the label and use a dog food that has the fewest ingredients. If your dog is allergic to grains, a grain-free option shouldn’t be hard to find at your local pet store.
Are Shiba Inu Beagle Mixes Protective?
Shi-Beagles make good guard dogs due to their loyalty to their owners. Their heightened senses as hunters also make them great watchdogs. Both breeds enjoy a good bark so they will alert their owners to anything they think is suspicious. They are a very loyal breed and this makes them protective of their families. While they may be wary of strangers, they can be socialized early to avoid aggressive behavior to visitors to the home.
How Much Does a Shiba Inu Beagle Mix Cost?
How much a Shi-Beagle will cost depends on a few things. The availability of the breed in your area of the country is a factor. You might be able to find a puppy Shi-Beagle starting at about $600 in some places but may pay more in others. It really depends on the availability of the dog and the demand for them.
Other determining factors in pricing are the age of the dog and bloodline. Even the particular coloring of the dog affects the price as some people will pay more for different variations. Some pet stores may price puppies higher, then reduce the price to get rid of them. Only buy a Shiba Inu Mix from a breeder who is current with all local, state, and federal licensing requirements.
Is a Shiba Inu Beagle Mix Right for Me?
How to know if a Shiba Inu Beagle mix is right for you, depends on what type of dog you are looking for. If you are looking for a dog you can let run off-leash, then probably not. If you are looking for an alert guard dog, then perhaps it is.
Shi-Beagles require daily exercise to keep them from becoming bored. They like attention, but their Shibu side can make them aloof, so if you’re looking for a super needy, attention-loving dog, then they may not deliver for you.
Best Climate for a Shiba Inu Beagle Mix
The Shiba Inu Beagle Mix can handle pretty much any type of weather so they are perfectly happy living in any part of the United State. Of course, in cases of extreme hot or cold, precautions are needed when they are exercised outside. During the coldest winter months, it’s a good idea to have your dog wear a warm coat. Dog boots can also help protect their feet from the salt used to melt ice on roads and sidewalks. In the hot summer months, make sure your dog gets plenty of water to drink and never leave them alone in a hot car for any length of time.
The Attention a Shiba Inu Beagle Needs
Shi-Beagles need exercise to burn off their excess energy and keep them from gaining too much weight. Giving your dog a lot of exercise will make it tired and happy. You can give it a lot of love but their Shiba Inu side makes them independent and aloof at times. This should also be respected. They are a mix of two independent breeds that can tolerate being left alone for longer than other types.
Compatibility with kids
Shibu Inu Beagle mixes will get along with children if socialized properly. Puppies tend to think of young children as puppies like themselves. They respond to their noisy, rough playmaking with similar tactics. Young children should also be taught how to treat a puppy. Pulling on tails and ears and grabbing and pulling in general are not appreciated by dogs. Older children should get along just fine with their dogs. The ultimate responsibility falls on the owner and not the puppy. With patience and training, there shouldn’t be any problems raising the two together.
Compatibility with Other Animals
Both Beagles and Shiba Inu were bred as hunting dogs. This means the mix of the two has a similar high prey drive. If they see something smaller than them moving quickly it will be hard for them not to pursue it. Cats, for example, are easily startled and can run off quickly when scared. This makes them an irresistible target for Shi-Beagles. That said, with proper socialization at a young age, this mix may learn to get along just fine with cats or other small animals, however, they should never be left alone together.